10 Essential Questions: Kendall Walker

Meet Kendall Walker, a backpack leader, navigation instructor, and recent Basic Alpine Climbing Course grad who loves being anywhere remote with her dog and is a big fan of Dairy Queen Blizzards.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
March 18, 2022

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to...

Name: Kendall Walker
Hometown: Black Diamond, WA
Member Since: October 2019
Occupation: Registered nurse
Favorite Activities: Backpacking, especially when it’s really remote and requires some off trail travel. I also love scrambling little-known peaks with lots of route-finding thrown in. I just finished Basic Alpine this past year and while I love the challenge and thrill of some exposure, mountaineering is not my go-to when I’m outside!

10 ESSENTIALS QUESTIONS

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOUNTAINEERS?

I signed up when I applied for Basic Alpine in fall of 2019.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUTSIDE WITH US?

As hard as leadership has tried in the past few years to make the Mountaineers a more inclusive space, it still feels like it is dominated by white men. I am motivated to not only take classes but donate my time as a leader and teacher to help women specifically become more confident and excited about their place in the outdoors and within The Mountaineers.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE OUTDOORS MEMORY?

Our SIG leader, KD, has the most impressive ability to fall asleep anywhere and be asleep within 2 minutes. Whether we were waiting at an anchor, taking down base camp, or waiting for the rest of the party to arrive, that man could pass out and be snoring!

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

As a leader/teacher, the folks, especially women, who are out there trying something new for the first time with a great attitude are the most impressive to me. Ironically, being outside and taking on a new hobby is VERY intimidating and complicated, even when it shouldn’t be. When I have a member of my trip who gets to turn that corner and see an alpine lake for the first time, or learn how to set up her tent on her own, or experience the confidence that comes with doing 20 miles with a heavy pack on her back, that inspires me to continue teaching and leading and really enjoy the outdoors for the incredible space that it is.

AS A DONOR AND VOLUNTEER-SUPPORTED ORGANIZATION, THE MOUNTAINEERS IS BASED ON COMMUNITY SUPPORT. HOW HAVE YOU PAID IT FORWARD, OR HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM SOMEONE ELSE PAYING IT FORWARD?

Definitely being a leader and volunteering my time as much as possible. Whether it's through navigation courses or leading backpacking trips, I love giving back to the organization that has taught me so much.

WHAT DOES ADVENTURE MEAN TO YOU?

Adventure is going beyond your comfort level. Not necessarily thrill seeking or being reckless, but just pushing that line a little bit further to discover that you can do more than you thought.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Smile or game face? Game face
What's your 11th Essential? A good book. Whether it's a physical copy or on my phone, I always love having something to read in the mornings before everyone wakes up or at night!
What’s your happy place? Anywhere remote with my dog!
Post-adventure meal of choice? Dairy Queen Blizzard!!
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Rock climbing for sure. I was not blessed in that sport.


Kendall is thru-hiking the PCT starting in Campo on March 31st. Go to www.kendalltakesalongwalk.com  to follow along on her journey!